PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — As the University of Maine at Presque Isle prepares for the fall semester and the safe return of its faculty, staff and students to campus, officials have announced plans for the phased reopening of Gentile Hall.
The building officially opened to current UMPI students, faculty and staff on Monday, Aug. 10, but will not be open to community members at this time. Access will be limited to only active, enrolled, and current students and employees; access will not be permitted to individuals outside of these groups, to include family members.
Gentile Hall was closed to the general public in mid-March, but remained open to students, faculty and staff. It was fully closed to all patrons later that same month. UMPI will open this facility in the same way it was closed — in a phased manner to best ensure campus and community health and safety.
“The uniqueness of Gentile Hall and the demands it puts on our staff, limited cleaning supplies, and fiscal resources required us to take a very careful look at the best way to reopen the space,” said Ben Shaw, UMPI’s chief business officer.
“Ultimately, with our focus on safely reopening campus for the fall semester, we determined that this was how we needed to proceed to best protect the health and safety of our students, employees and community members,” Shaw said. “As we’ve done since March, the Gentile Hall memberships of paying community members not able to access the facility right now will be extended, and will start up again when they are able to once again access the space.”
Health and safety protocols will be in place for those students and employees using Gentile Hall, including requirements to: complete a health screening checklist prior to entry; arrive dressed to exercise as gym bags will not be permitted; bring water; and wear face masks at all times, including while exercising.
The facility will have stringent safety measures in place as well, from social distancing expectations to rigorous cleaning schedules to limits on the number of individuals allowed in the building at one time.
In addition, certain areas of the facility will not be available, such as the pool, rock wall, locker rooms and showers, in order to allow staff to best manage the health and safety protocols in place for the building.
UMPI officials will continue to monitor all information related to the COVID-19 situation, both local and statewide, with the aim to open to the general membership and community visitors as soon as it is safe to do so, campus officials said.
Submitted by the Community and Media Relations Office of the University of Maine at Presque Isle.